COVID-19 – Support for employers and businesses

Updated 18 May 2020

In these uncertain times we’ve pulled together some links that may be useful to local employers and businesses.

If you cannot find the information you need, please contact us at and we will do our best to help.

Government guidance to employers and businesses

Information for businesses in the UK is changing rapidly.  We have found a useful dashboard presenting up-to-date information that we would encourage businesses to look.  Created by Deliotte this offers daily summary of advice from Government in a clear, well presented format.

Government guidance on business support grant funding

A new ‘support finder’ tool will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic, please click here for more information. The finder tool on GOV.UK asks business owners to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete, and they will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

The Chancellor has  announced a new £1.25 billion coronavirus package to protect firms driving innovation in UK.  The package includes a £500 million investment fund for high-growth companies impacted by the crisis, made up of funding from government and the private sector. SMEs focusing on research and development will also benefit from £750 million of grants and loans being delivered through funding from Innovate UK. Find more information on the funding opportunities here.

The latest updates to the Small Business Grant, and Retails, Hospitality and Leisure Grant can be found on the Mendip District Council website,  where you can also register your business for grant application.

Grants are £10,000 for all businesses that are currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.  Grants of up to £25,000 are available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value below £51,000.

Government guidance for the self- employed

Self-employed invited to get ready to make Coronavirus support claims

HM Revenue and Customs (HRMC) is starting to contact those who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to explain the application process and help them get ready to make a claim.  The claims service is open now, see how you can be prepared here

FREE webinars to support businesses

Somerset Chamber of Commerce are offering free webinars to support businesses with issues relating to COVID:19.  The webinars are open to non-Chamber members, so please visit the Chamber of Commerce website to register your place.

HRMC are holding free webinars covering topics such as Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate scheme; Self-employment Income Support Scheme; Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; Running a business through the coronavirus pandemic.  Click here for more information.

The Progress Shed are running free webinars with thought-provoking discussions to help businesses survive and thrive, with key-note speakers and resilience champions.  The first session is Riding the Wave of Resilience to Become a Winner with two time Paratriathlon Word Champion Steve Judge as the motivational speaker. To find out more and register click here.

Business support helpline

You can find details of help and support on the dedicated Business support helpline page on the Government’s website, you can also telephone: 0300 456 3565, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm for assistance.

Heart of the South West growth hub

The Heart of the South West growth hub website is the main source for local advice and guidance. It offers businesses assistance and can sign post to additional help available. Register with the Growth Hub to receive updates alternatively, email them or phone – 03456 047 047.
There is also a support phone number for anyone self-employed available at 0300 456 3565.

Tax bill advice

The HMRC COVID-19 helpline number is 0800 0159 559,  and is available to support businesses and self-employed people who are worried about paying their tax bills due to Coronavirus.

Federation of Small Businesses

Specific advice to small businesses can be found on the Federation of Small Business website.

GeekingITsimple – advice on successfully operating your business from home

This local IT support company have created a dedicated page full of useful information, training, links and downloads to help your business through the next few months. Visit the Geeking IT simple website here.